John S. Brown’s headstone is here, but where is his body?

John S. (Smith?) BROWN was the son of Zachariah BROWN and Mary HAWS. He was born on June 23, 1838 in Washington County, Tennessee.

John married Serena BAXTER on September 26, 1858 in Greene County, Tennessee. They had 5 children together:

  • Mary M. BROWN – b. 28 Feb 1860 in Greene Co., TN; died 10 Jul 1942 in Black Mountain, North Carolina.
  • James Franklin BROWN – b. 09 Jun 1863 in Greene Co., TN; died 22 Nov1931 in Fergus, Montana.
  • Ruth Ella BROWN – b. March 1871 in Greene Co., TN; died after 1916.
  • Deluna Frances BROWN – b. 03 May 1876 in Greene Co., TN; d. 20 Dec 1953 in Kingsport, Sullivan Co, TN.
  • Katie J. BROWN – b. c. 1878 in Greene Co., TN; presumed dead before 1910.

John died of acute heart disease on October 10, 1919, in Greene Co., Tennessee. His headstone, above, is located in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Greene County, Tennessee.

However, rumor has it that because of a disagreement between his daughter Deluna, son-in-law Frank SWANAY, and himself (they tried to have him legally declared a “lunatic” 3 years earlier so they could get control of his estate), his body is actually buried in Bethesda Cemetery with his parents. I have found no proof of this, although it is odd that John’s date of death is not inscribed on the headstone at Pleasant Hill Cemetery.

Serena’s headstone is on the other side of John’s.

For sources and information about this family, please contact me.

Headstone of John S. Brown photographed by Elizabeth O’Neal, May 1994, Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Greene County, Tennessee.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O’Neal

Elizabeth O'Neal

Elizabeth O’Neal is a genealogist, freelance writer, educator, and web developer. An avid genealogist for three decades, Elizabeth writes the blog "My Descendant’s Ancestors" (formerly "Little Bytes of Life"), where she shares family stories, technology and methodology tips, and hosts the monthly "Genealogy Blog Party." When not hunting for ancestors, she enjoys testing new software and social media platforms to find innovative ways to re-purpose them for genealogy.
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